I’ve just read about Paul Daniels being diagnosed with a terminal brain tumour and it got me thinking about the celebrities who have passed away in recent months, including David Bowie, Terry Wogan, Alan Rickman, Cilla Black, Leonard Nimoy, and Terry Pratchett.
It occurred to me that many of them were suffering from critical illnesses such as heart failure and cancer, for which an insurance policy would pay out a lump sum on diagnosis. Many of these celebrities had been battling their conditions for years. Survival rates are improving, and a payment could help you manage an impaired lifestyle, help you through your last days in the worst case, or help provide for the ones you leave behind.
As you may know, it costs more to raise a child than it does to buy a house. Many of us insure the value of our mortgage but what about our family?
Recent research suggests that the cost of raising a child from birth to the age of 21 is now £231,843*. That’s more than the price of the average house, and takes up over a third of the average household’s net income.
The scary thing is that so many of us don’t have a plan in place to continue to meet these expenses after a sudden loss of income, whether this be emergency savings or a policy to pay out if we get sick. Far fewer people these days have the comfort of extended sick pay from work, making it crucial to have a backup plan.
It can be tempting to hope for the best and trust that ‘it won’t happen to me’. Unfortunately ‘it’ is happening to more and more people, and the sooner we look at how we might be affected, the better able we are to put a plan in place to soften the blow.
After all, whether we have children to support or not, whilst we would all like to think of ourselves as Superman/Superwoman, look what happened to Christopher Reeve…
* Cost of a child calculations compiled by CEBR in December 2015, additional research conducted by Opinium Research January 2016.